Life on Campus


March 12, 2020, the day Keystone School announced students were going to have an extra week of spring break. We were so excited for another week of late nights with friends and family, thinking we would be back before April. Eight months later, here we are. Three-fourths of our high school body is attending class from home. The other fourth is on campus, socially distanced, reminiscing on old memories, and talking about what they miss: spirit games, Stone Souls, dances. Life on campus isn’t the same.

My first day back at school—October 5, 2020—was scary, I’ll admit. It was nice having the choice every morning to wake up ten minutes before class. I woke up at 6:30 that morning, stressed I’d forget something at home. My routine was everywhere; I didn’t know where to start. Should I get dressed first? Will I have time for breakfast? I confused myself with thoughts I shouldn’t have to worry about. I decided to brush my teeth, wash my face, and get dressed last. I opened a new pack of masks from Old Navy, grabbed a yellow one, and tried it on. It was too large for my face. I had to use a black one, the first one I ever bought. To start my day, I had a bowl of my favorite cereal, Special K, and my mom drove me to school. 

As we reached school, we waited for someone to check my temperature. They checked, gave me a wristband, and told me the different areas I could go to before class. I saw Quincy, one of my best friends. We wanted to hug but restrained ourselves from doing so. Our first-period class was about to start, and thankfully, almost all of our classes were together. We found our other classmates and friends, Stella and Alex. We all walked into the AP Environmental Science classroom to take AP Statistics on our computers. It was weird being in person but having to take online classes. However, not being able to see my bed in my peripheral vision was good for me. After my first four classes, I was exhausted; with some being online, some in-person, and some mixed, it was becoming harder to concentrate. Luckily, I had a wellness break, my off period, and my lunch period next.

The next two and a half hours were well spent. My friends and I sat on the green in front of the cafeteria and ate lunch while listening to Mr. Gonzalez teach the lower school students through his big open doors. We tried to do as much homework as we could from our first four classes, but we had trouble concentrating. All we wanted to do was talk and laugh, so we did. 

Our last two periods went by fast. First was AP Euro. I tried to participate as much as I could when I was online, but when I was in person, I was too anxious to raise my hand, too anxious to answer. I couldn’t understand why. Then was British Literature, a class I was hesitant to participate in when I was learning from home. When Mrs. Hall asked for students to read from Macbeth, I looked around and realized that there was nothing to be afraid of.  I raised my hand, read, and included myself in the discussion. I wondered why my confidence had fluctuated.

The day ended, and I left feeling tired yet content with how everything went. The teachers were understanding of the different problems that could have occurred but didn’t. Everything had gone so smoothly and there weren’t many technological errors: it terrified me. What if this is the new normal? What if concurrent learning is the way we will learn for the next five years? I didn’t want to know the answer. 

I questioned myself: should I come back tomorrow?